Professor Stephane Hess


I am an internationally recognised expert in the analysis of human decision making using advanced mathematical models, with a key focus on travel behaviour. My work has made contributions to the state of the art in the specification, estimation and interpretation of such models, as well as in facilitating the transition of ideas and approaches across disciplines, notably by also working in mathematical psychology and behavioural economics. Together with David Palma, I am a developer of Apollo, a highly flexible and powerful free tool for estimating and applying choice models that is used around the world.

I hold a variety of academic and non-academic positions.

I am Professor of Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport Studies and Director of the Choice Modelling Centre at the University of Leeds. I also hold part-time positions as Professor of Decision modelling, AI and mobility research at Delft University of Technology, and as a guest professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. I am a fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in the United Kingdom, Honorary Professor in Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney, and Honorary Professor of Modelling Behaviour in Africa at the University of Cape Town. Outside academia, I have advisory appointments at two leading consultancy companies.

My publication record is extensive (164 journal papers in 20 years), and my work is highly cited, with a Scopus h-index of 40 (google scholar h-index of 51). The impact of my work has been recognised for example by the 2017 and 2019 ICMC awards for the most innovative application of choice modelling, the 2014 Outstanding Young Member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) award for exceptional achievements in transportation research, policy, or practice, the 2010 Fred Burggraf award handed out by the Transportation Research Board, the 2005 Eric Pas award for the best PhD thesis in the area of travel behaviour modelling, and the 2004 Neil Mansfield award handed out by the Association for European Transport. One of my proudest achievements is my success as a PhD advisor, with students under my supervision having excellent publication records and with their work similarly having been recognised by numerous awards, including two winners of the prestigious Eric Pas award. My work has been supported by a range of different grants, where I have been involved as a principal or co-investigator in academic projects with a combined value of over £11.9M, including the ERC funded consolidator grant DECISIONS, and the ERC funded advanced grant SYNERGY.

In academic leadership activities, I am the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling and the founder and steering committee chair of the International Choice Modelling Conference. Alongside this, I serve on the editorial advisory board of two other leading journals; Transportation Research Part B and Transportation, and contribute to academic committees at leading international conferences.

Although a majority of my applied work has been conducted in the field of transport, including leading the modelling on the most recent UK, German and Singaporean national value of time studies, as well as the re-estimation of the Swiss study, I am also very active in health and environmental economics. Together with my research team at the Choice Modelling Centre, I am setting the research agenda in building bridges between choice modelling, mathematical psychology and machine learning, as well as applying choice modelling in new fields. Advanced choice models require high quality data, and I am at the forefront of exploring and exploiting novel data sources, with groundbreaking applications using ‘big data’.